When my daughter was younger, there were some playdates I used to dread. Too young to leave my daughter alone at someone else’s house, I would be stuck making small talk over coffee cake with the playdate’s mother, thinking, "Why does two hours seem like two days?” And, “Have I really only been here for 12 minutes?”
But then, as my daughter got older, this wonderful world of “the drop-off” began. No longer did I have to sit and make small talk with mothers I had absolutely nothing in common with, aside from having kids, and no longer did they have to make small talk with me. It pretty much was like dining and dashing, except I dropped my kid off and would dash so quickly out of these mother’s houses, I think the mothers often wondered if I had even been there at all. “Well, her daughter is here, so she MUST have come by,” I could imagine them saying.
And then a wonderful thing happened recently. I met a mother at one of my daughter’s art classes. I LOVED this mother. She was hip and funny and I could spend hours talking to her, gossiping and laughing my ass off. I can honestly say, that in my daughter’s eight years on this planet, aside from my good friends who happen to be mothers, this was the first new mother I could see forming a long-lasting friendship with. I’m talking the kind of friendship where you talk on the phone almost every night.
Finding a new mother friend, with a child your daughter’s age, one that shares your views on life and you can totally open up too, is really quite difficult. And when you find a mother you actually really like, it’s like a miracle. Thank you, Jesus! So we set up a playdate for our daughters. It went well, or so I thought. A few weeks later, I felt comfortable asking my new mother friend if she could watch my daughter while I had to go to a doctor’s appointment. She was more than happy to do so. In exchange for her generosity, I organized a really great date night for our girls. I took them for dinner and to the ballet. If I were dating, and a guy set up this evening for me, I’d be in heaven.
The girls seemed to have a really great time. And I sat back, watching the beautiful Romeo & Juliet, thinking, “This is great. Next time, it will be the four of us. My new friend, her daughter, my daughter and me.” There was nothing that was going to stop me from making this friendship blossom. As I’ve said, it’s really rare to meet a mother at your daughter’s art class, a mother who you don’t mind talking to, instead of running out and doing your chores. This mother didn’t judge me. I didn’t judge her. We just have a lot of laughs together.
And then, just when everything seems too good to be true, well, it was. After the ballet, I dropped my friend’s daughter off and continued to drive my daughter and me home. In the car, I couldn’t believe what I heard. “Do I have to play with her again?” my daughter asked me. What? Quoi? C’est What? Hello? “What do you mean?” I asked. “I just, well, I just don’t really like her that much,” my daughter continued. [tagbox tag="mommy friends"]
Now, I am objective when it comes to my daughter most of the time, and when I say she’s NEVER said she didn’t want to play with someone again before, she never has. So I actually had to take her seriously. “Why don’t you like her?” I asked about my new friend’s little girl. “She’s too bossy,” my daughter answered. “And she complains about everything.”
In my mother-crush, had I failed to notice these traits of this little girl? Was I so enamoured with the thought of forming a new mother friendship that I had failed to see my daughter wasn’t enjoying herself? I couldn’t believe it. “Are you sure you don’t want to see her again? Not even once more? Just one more try?”
“Do I have to mommy?” my daughter responded, as if I had just asked her to eat a worm. I sighed. “No, you don’t have to.”
Now, of course, this doesn’t HAVE to affect my friendship with the mother, does it? In a perfect world, it wouldn’t. However, I can’t make playdates with her daughter and mine – and how could “we should get the girls together” not come up in conversation? Art classes are ending soon, so I won’t be seeing my mother-crush anymore, unless just the two of us make a date, and who has the time for that?
I feel like I’ve been put in the middle of something that I can’t put my finger on. But, of course, it is my daughter and my loyalty is with her. I’m going to consider this experience like I did when I had short-lived but good relationships. It was fun while it lasted. And I’m not going to be alone forever, right? There must be many other mommies out there that I could meet and get along with who have children that MY daughter gets a long with. Sadly, this does feel like a break-up, though – one that is out of my control.
Let's just say I’m well into the cookie dough ice cream.